Arizona: No Polar Vortex Here!

The 2013-2014 winter was a particularly vicious one for much of the U.S. By mid-February, New York City had more snow than Anchorage, 92 percent of the Great Lakes remained frozen by mid-March and just two weeks before the official arrival of spring, Winter Storm Vulcan swept through the Midwest and into the upper Northeast, dumping more snow and causing whiteout conditions. (Did anyone even know winter storms had names? And wasn't Vulcan the god of fire, and Mr. Spock's desert home planet?)

This particular winter made Arizona residents almost feel guilty as they welcomed spring training tourists throughout March, purchased fresh margarita mix and slathered on the sunscreen.

But It Gets So Hot in Phoenix!

Please. As they say in Phoenix, you don't shovel snow. And here at least, heat doesn't shut down roadways, interrupt commerce or require the National Guard's assistance. Yes, it does get hot in Phoenix but air conditioning and sunshades make it comfortable at home and work.

Photo by cogdogblog via Flickr

The right kinds of window treatments can make a home an oasis during the hot summer days. You can get translucent, UV-blocking solar roller shades that filter light and keep the heat out while still allowing you to enjoy a view of Camelback Mountain or Four Peaks—two much-loved sights in the Phoenix area. These window coverings from The Shade Store are constructed with eco-friendly materials to boot and come in a range of dark to light hues.

Roller shades are particularly good options for many homes because they can be customized for the rooms they will serve. Blackout shades maximize darkness in bedrooms for light sleepers. Light-filtering shades for windows facing away from the sun provide the same translucent views while providing some privacy.

No Daylight Savings, More Summer Nightlife

Arizona is exempt from Daylight Savings Time because it wouldn't make sense here. Yes, the sun will rise at 5:30 a.m., but this makes perfect sense in a state where many people—construction workers, landscapers, etc.—can get more done before the heat crests at mid-afternoon.

Photo by flavor via Flickr

Arizona comes to life around summer sunsets. Shopping malls, which are designed like town squares, stay open late and feature local bands. Late afternoon movies at discounted matinee prices are the place to be on the weekends. Cool mist sprays provided by nearby cafes and bars invite you in for drinks and appetizers.

A Short Drive to Cooler Daytime Temps

Most Phoenicians do get away from the summer heat at some point, but they don't need to board a plane and encounter airport hassle. Instead, they get in their cars and head north where camping, fishing and hiking is in full swing. There's the Grand Canyon, of course, but locals will also tell you to visit the Painted Desert and Petrified Forest, Lake Powell and Mogollon Rim country. Best of all, it never feels crowded in these places. Because in Arizona, there's plenty of room for everyone, including you.

Photo of the Painted Desert by katsrcool via Flickr



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